Our First Place: A Tribute

It’s official! We have moved out of our first apartment. It’s so bittersweet—we are absolutely in love with the Wheaton area and our great community of friends. But we are thrilled to be closer to our growing families. We aren’t quite sure the exact location of our second place, so for now we are staying in southern New Jersey with my in-laws. I’m getting some much needed time off from working, and Steven is picking up my slack and working full time. After leaving, I realized that I never gave you the full tour! So here it is: our first place.

It wasn’t the biggest, it didn’t even have siding that matched, but we loved everything about it. We often say to ourselves how hard it will be to find a place half as wonderful.


We had a great kitchen—the cabinets were nasty nicotine yellow when we got here. A nice fresh grey helped to update everything!


I’m going to miss this little shelf below my cabinets. I know it’s not the most classy thing in the whole world (and the counter height was appropriate for toddlers…not lanky 20-somethings), but it was so fun figuring out what to put in there and switching it all around.

kitchen counter

I had such a blast working on centerpieces for this little table. Arranging and rearranging…

spring centerpiece

Here’s my first refinishing project: the kitchen table! My previous roommate gave it to me. It was bleached by the sun and pretty beat up, but after some sanding and staining, I made it into something new! I painted the legs black to match these benches (I got them from Walmart—shhhhh…). This is a great solution if you’re forced into a corner with your dining room table. Put two benches in an “L” shape instead of cramming chairs next to the wall.

kitchen table

Another one of my refinishing projects! My landlord had this cute cafe table and knew it would fit perfectly into this corner.

cafe corner

We loved our bright fun living room! It was kind of  a modge podge of college/Ikea/Target furniture, but it was cozy, clean, and, most importantly, ours. We cleverly separated our living room and office with panels from Ikea—what a fantastic invention!

side table

Our window bench was the perfect home for my record player! This was just a bookshelf turned on its side. I made the cushion with foam and a few yards of fabric.

record player living room

Here is my favorite thing in the whole house! My great grandmother’s table. I grew up with this table holding all my mom’s favorite plants. It was in need of some love, so I refinished the whole thing. It’s finally back to its original beauty!


It was about 700 square feet and we loved every inch. I’m so glad that we knew what a huge blessing it was to us while we were still there. Looking back, I’m missing it terribly, but how wonderful it is that we had something good enough to miss. With our first anniversary approaching in the next week, we are counting our numerous blessings and standing in awe. We’ve watched God work in such big ways through our small home and even in our new life together. From small group meetings with a dozen amazing teenagers to dinners with some treasured friends, even a garden providing healthy food and a summer of “look what we grew!” I’d like to think we know just how blessed we are, but I’m not sure there are enough words—let alone capacity in our minds—to truly know.

We really loved our first apartment, and, Lord willing, you’ll be hearing all about how much we love our first home in the very near future. I can’t thank God enough for this first apartment and treasured time in our lives. I can’t wait to see how he uses our next home in his plan. Home is so much more than the decorations, the paint color, or how it looks to guests. Home is a place of belonging, where others can experience the love that overflows from within.

our first place

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